Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life Happening; Blood, Tears and Laughter

Paisley and Mr. Snow
The snow has melted (hooray), we've begun wearing shorts (a little early, but we couldn't wait), and we have jumped head first in to outdoor activities and various celebrations!  It's been a great winter but we are ready for spring!

Pappaw joined us for snow cream
Our final snow day didn't disappoint!  We rode the 4-wheeler, pulled the kids on the sled, whipped up some snow cream and made our first snowman.   As much as we enjoyed the snow, when it quickly melted a few days later we were not sad to see it go (although the muddy mess that temporarily took its spot was not a welcome replacement).  My entryway rugs will never be the same.

I can't even put in to words my love for this boy...
March 14 (pi day) meant I needed to make some cherry delight (pie).  The kids helped by licking the beaters.  I appreciated the help.  :) I have so many memories of licking the beaters while my mom and grandma cooked, I am happy to have my own little munchkins to share the beaters with.  At first they both looked at me like I was crazy when I told them to stick out their tongue and lick, but after a quick demonstration they were all about it.

My sand eating, chalk faced princess
The warmer weather has led to many days and evenings outside.  The sidewalk chalk brought out cheers of delight that are usually reserved for big events like birthdays and Christmas.  The battery powered gator has already required several re-charges and our new kite has already experienced heights like its never known.  We're happily shelving our winter memories and making room for the new ones.

Teaching the kitty how to draw
So far this warmer weather has taught me that a mouth full of sand can be digested in the stomach of a 1year old, side walk chalk really is non-toxic (thank God), and a busted mouth hurts me more then it hurts the 1 year old bleeding buckets.  I must toughen up.

This past Christmas Scott got me a gift card to take an Annie Sloan chalk paint class at a local distributor.  A few weeks ago I took a class and was hooked.  I plan on writing a separate post on my experience and show my piece before and after.  But lets go ahead and say I am hooked and have a new hobby.
Let's go fly a kite
Every so often Scott and I revisit the topic of me returning to work.  Each time we end up at the same place..."...they are our responsibility to raise, protect and teach...it's such a short period of time that I am home with them...5 days a week/8 hours a day is a lot of time for them to spend with someone else...etc."  Within 24 hours of our last conversation I got an e-mail from a head hunter asking me if I was interested in an Senior HR Generalist position at a local company.  At some point I will be ready to go back to work, but now is not that time.  Although it does feel good to be hunted.  :)
Blinding Happiness
March 17 brought on the green!  The kids enjoyed sipping on 7-up and lime sherbet.  We talked about leprechauns and pinching people that weren't wearing green.  Paisley had school and I went to my first parent-teacher conference.  My little 3 year old got rave reviews and the only area of improvement was using scissors.  I fought back tears as I listened to his teacher talk about his social, listening, and academic skills.  My heart was full of pride as I was made very aware of my little boy growing up.  After I got home and my little boy couldn't see, I shed a couple in the laundry room, happy warm tears.

Tonight we'll have dinner with my parents at local restaurant celebrating St. Patrick's Day and a hard-working pre-schooler.  Tomorrow we'll pick up the cat from the vet (today was not a lucky day for the cat (snip snip)) and run some errands.  We'll enjoy the start of a new season and probably eat a little more sidewalk chalk.

As we finish out this St. Patrick's Day I'll leave you with the ever popular Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Road Tripping with our Little People

1985-ish, fishing in Florida
Growing up I saw a lot of states from the back of my parents Oldsmobile.  We drove everywhere, every which direction, and my sister and I loved it.  I didn't catch my first flight until I was 15 years old.  Road trips were the norm and I was lucky to marry a man who agreed!

We have had several small road trips with the kids; Kentucky Lake, Louisville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, etc.  So when our annual ski trip was on the horizon, I didn't bat an eye when Scott said, "What do you think about driving?"

Disney 1986-ish
I scoured Pinterest for tips on road tripping with toddlers.  There were great ideas such as giving them a cookie sheet to snack/play/color on.  I glued fleece on the back of each childs cookie sheet so it had some cushion and wouldn't slide off their little legs.  Both kids enjoyed and utilized their sheet (Lila mostly used hers to kick and produce noise, but whatever).  I also visited the dollar bin at Target and bought each kid 6-10 small toys that I wrapped and let them open a long the way.  It was great to tell them I would let them have a prize if they were good for the next hour.

Movies were also a fairly big hit.  We haven't figured out how to have the radio playing up front and the movie sound go through the back headphone speakers only.....so we all listened to Bubble Guppies, Dora, and Team Umizoomi more times then I can count.  We need to figure that glitch out before our next trip.

St. Louis 1993-ish
Snacks were asked for frequently!  We had a variety of food and beverage on hand.  I can't remember how many small trash bags we filled with wrappers and juice boxes just riding in the car for roughly 16 hours.

On our way to Colorado we left in the evening and planned on driving all night while the kids slept.  As life sometimes go, our plan fell apart quicker then a snowman on a hot day.  The kids wouldn't sleep, or if they did fall asleep, the other would wake up and  proceed to wake the other up.  By midnight we decided to check in to a hotel.

On our way home from Colorado, we ate breakfast and hit the road.  The kids played and napped throughout the day and by 11pm they fell asleep and we managed to get them in bed when we arrived home at 1am.  Driving all day was much better for us then driving at night.

We learned a couple things on this first "big" road trip as a family.  First we will leave in the morning as opposed to at night.  Next time I will get a few more items for once the sun goes down and it's dark in the car.  We found a few glow in the dark toys for the kids and they were heavily played with when the sun went down.  Next time I'll also pack some glow sticks.
Colorado 2015
Sure there were moments when both kids screamed like they were getting their feathers plucked, but at the end of the day, would I do it again?  Absolutely!!  Road trips are part of my upbringing and I want the same for my children.  The open road is a great time for families to spend together and talk about life.  It's much cheaper than flying and the view from the backseat is pretty good.  I can't wait for our next little adventure.
Top of the world 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

When the Baby won't Sleep...

Neither does mommy...

She went down at 7pm just like every other night.  I knew her teeth were bothering her as she has white caps poking up through every bare space of gum.  The nightmare (for me) began around mid-night.  I had been asleep for roughly 2 hours and I hear her fussing.  I gave it a minute because it's not unusual to hear a little fuss out of her, then she goes right back to sleep.  This time, she fussed for a few minutes before she began hollering "mommy."  I knew this was not a good sign.

I went in her room and kissed her head (no fever, thank goodness).  I gave her a drink a water and tucked her back in.  I told her it was "night night" and she needed to sleep.  She responded with a "Uh-huh" and I slipped out of her room.  All was quiet as I slipped back in bed. I fell asleep quickly thinking all was well.

At 1am the screaming started again.  My brain was immediately thrust back to when I was woken every few hours to feed a baby throughout the night.  The start and stop of sleep that leaves you with a slight headache and feeling slightly crazed.  I went back to her room and repeated the events from an hour ago.  Still no fever, she was calmed as soon as I walked in her room, and there wasn't any obvious issues.  I slipped out of her room and all was quiet once again.

At 2am I was jarred awake again and realized more needed to be done then just a sip of water and re-tucking in.  I attempted to ask her if she hurt anywhere, but she couldn't really answer accurately (I asked if her mouth hurt and she said "yes" then I asked her if the refrigerator hurt and she said "yes.")  Scott volunteered to move to the couch so she could "sleep" in our bed.  I would have agreed to any solution that resulted in more sleep then I was currently getting.

I grabbed her sippy cup and stuffed doggie and we bedded down in my room.  The baby, who I was previously worried didn't feel good, immediately began acting like a monkey complete with noises that sounded dead on like the monkeys at the zoo.  I shhh'ed her and she laid down.  In and out of sleep (me, not her) she began poking my face saying "pokey pokey pokey," she began patting my head and telling me "shhhh" (keep in mind I was being very quiet).  At one point she climbed off the bed and took off running down the hall.  I thought I was going to fall over as I staggered down the hall chasing the small figure in monkey pajamas.  Sleep was not happening.

The rest of the night I felt her toss and turn next to me, demanding as much body contact as possible. She would lay across my head and sing songs then rapidly flip directions so her feet were resting on top of my stomach while she went through all the animal noises in her vocabulary.  As the sun peeked through the blinds this morning, I found her standing in bed with one foot on my back, as though she was an explorer claiming the land she had discovered.

The next time Scott volunteers the bed to our children, I will join him on the couch and let the kids have the bed.  I can't sleep next to this child.